We now know that moderate wine drinkers live longer than tea totalers, which is very good news except for that "moderation" stuff. Moderation means you can't finish that box of chocolates you just opened.
We're all trying to be more healthful these days, but it's hard with all the temptations of modern life, including our favorite subjects food and wine and beer and booze tricking us into all kinds of bad behavior because they provide so much damned pleasure.
Our nation's obesity epidemic is very disconcerting, and as one who has had a lifetime struggle with weight, I've been reading a lot lately on its causes, including high-fructose corn syrup, which I'm proud to say isn't in wine. It's the villain-du-jour, a convenient whipping boy for people looking for excuses for eating too much, but not for the reasons you may think, acccording to a recent article I read.
Consumer reporter David Lazarus, writing June 5 in the Business Section of the Los Angeles Times, quoted Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist and obesity expert at UC San Francisco. “The reason high-fructose corn syrup is evil is because it’s cheaper than sucrose,” said Lustig. “Because it’s cheaper, it’s finding its way into everything. Things that never had sugar before now have it.”
Lazarus asks “why?” then offers a plausible explanation. “Because the body thinks sweet things taste better and responds with feelings of pleasure. And whenever the body feels pleasure, its first instinct is to want more of whatever produced the happy sensation. The food industry knows this and has been pumping high-fructose corn syrup into everything from breakfast cerals to sodas. It’s not that high-fructose corn syrup is worse for you than other sugars. Rather, it’s that people consume a lot more of it.”
“Any product that promotes reward will drive excessive consumption,” Lustig said. “The cheaper it is and the more we want it, the deeper into trouble we get.”
Lazarus then goes on to say what we already know, that America is fat and getting fatter (It is estimated that 42% of all adults by 2030 will be obese), yet New York mayor Bloomberg was recently pilloried in the press and characterized as a nanny when he put through ordinances that limited sodas to 16 ounces in New York City. Those opposed to their loss of freedoms left out the minor detail that they still can buy a half dozen sodas if five isn’t enough.
I'm a little depressed by all of this. Is any of this my fault, I wonder? Am I peddling empty calories to the fattest country in the world? Or can our products provide a pleasurable answer to our nation's most daunting problem. According to most nutrition experts, wine, beer and spirits can thread the needle between a healthy lifestyle and oblivion if consumed wisely. (There's always a catch.)
Our industry is stepping up and offering its ideas to combat the obesity problem in America with these creative solutions, some of which are better than others.
Skinny Girl Wine
Watered down wines have fewer calories. Unfortunately, the promoters think it's better to look good than to taste good. Since taste comes first to The Wine Country, you'll have to look elsewhere for these profound mediocrities.
Drinking schooners of beer gives you a body like this. We prefer Belgian.
The Red Wine Diet
The more you drink, the healthier you get.
If one is good, a half dozen must be six times gooder.
Ready made for Bloody Marys. And your colon will love you back.
The Sonoma Diet
Guaranteed world class cleavage from the Sonoma wine country.
Chocolate and Red Wine Pairings
Red wine and dark chocolate both have anti-oxidants which, if consumed in moderation, can be healthy for you. Or not.
The Sardinian Red Wine Diet
Sardinians are one of the populations studied by gerontologists. They live longer than most people because of their diet heavy on roast pig, lamb, red wine, milk and cheese. Oh, yeah...they also walk up and down mountains every day, have multi-generational family supports and possess amazing genetics. All good reasons to drink Cannonau, the local version of Grenache. Especially if there are no mountains close by.
I feel much better now.
By the way, remember the diet I started in this blog a few months ago? I'm happy to report I've lost 2 pounds. It was hot last night and I sweat a lot.